Do Russians still trust television?

When it comes to choosing which medium to trust, the majority of respondents think television news is more honest, compared to other sources.

When it comes to choosing which medium to trust, the majority of respondents think television news is more honest, compared to other sources.

Public largely mistrusts radio and newspapers, but print remains popular.

The number of Russians that trust television as a key source of information has decreased from 60 percent in 2015 to 52 percent in 2017, according to the latest poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM).

The findings showed that the Internet is becoming more popular in Russia, especially among the younger generation. Overall the number of people that prefer to read news online grew by 10 percent over the last three years – from 22 to 32 percent.

When it comes to choosing which medium to trust, the majority of respondents (46 percent) think television news is more honest, compared to online sources (25 percent), radio (two percent), and newspapers (two percent). Eleven percent of respondents said they are inclined to trust “word of mouth.”

The public largely thinks that the objectivity of information covered in media depends on the topic: More than a half of respondent believe news about the environment, international affairs, and the leader of the country are more or less unbiased, as opposed to news on economic development, opposition movements, and other themes.

Elena Mikhailova, research director at VTsIOM, thinks the main reason why television remains a key source of information is its video format, that affects different senses and gives the public an opportunity “not only  to check the accuracy of the news but also to get deeper into the problem and interpret the information on their own.”

According to her, TV wins over Internet sources and social media because the formats often presents an incomplete picture. “It’s much harder to surf through information on the Internet and a large volume of contradictory news only raises doubts about its accuracy,” she explains.

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